Categorynews

PA Supreme Court Slams The Door Shut On Direct Lawsuits By Workers’ Compensation Insurers

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Chen v. Kamara (Hartford Ins. Grp. on Behalf of Chen v. Kamara, No. 24 EAP 2017, 2018 WL 6070474, Pa. Nov. 21, 2018), closed the door for workers’ compensation insurance carriers to file direct subrogation actions against liable third parties, regardless of how the complaint is captioned.  The Court […]

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Eliminates Future Credit for Medical Benefits in Workers’ Compensation Third Party Settlements

The recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision of Witmoyer v. WCAB (Mountain Country Meats) directly affects workers’ compensation insurers seeking to reduce their future liabilities by utilizing a time-honored practice of taking a future credit against medical benefits. In Whitmoyer, the Supreme Court held that an insurer’s right to a future credit on workers’ compensation payments […]

Implied Co-Insured Rule Rejected in Connecticut

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled in Amica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Muldowney, 328 Conn. 428 (2018), that a landlord may pursue claims against a tenant so long as the applicable lease holds the tenant liable for damage caused by the tenant and the lease requires the tenant to obtain liability insurance.  A prior case, […]

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Apply Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to Subrogated Insurers’ Mass Tort Case

The Ninth Circuit rejected an argument that CAFA required removal of a mass tort action brought by subrogated insurers against a product manufacturer to the federal district court. The case is Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. et al. v. EZ FLO Int’l, Inc. No. 17-56523, Slip Op. 9th Cir., Dec. 14, 2017. In this case, […]

Stutman Law Turns Back Attempt to Remove Mass Tort Action to Federal Court Under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)

After filing a mass tort action on behalf of 26 insurers in the San Bernardino Superior Court against EZ FLO International, Inc, a California manufacturer of water supply lines, EZ FLO attempted to remove the case to Federal Court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. EZ FLO alleged that the 145 individual insureds or subrogors referenced […]

Stutman Law Beats Arbitration and Forum Non Conveniens Allegations in Major Mass Tort Action

Stutman Law filed several mass tort litigations in Atlantic County, New Jersey, against the manufacturers and suppliers of DuraPro™ branded toilet connectors (“Toilet Connectors”), and after one litigation was removed to federal court, Stutman Law defeated motions to dismiss predicated on compulsory arbitration and forum non conveniens arguments. With respect to the motion for compulsory […]

Mass Tort Alert – Stutman Law Preparing Mass Tort Action Against Gree

On November 29, 2016, Gree expanded its 2013 dehumidifier recall, which now encompasses approximately 2.5 million dehumidifiers sold in the United States and Canada under brand names such as Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, and Danby.  Gree initially announced a recall involving dehumidifiers manufactured by Gree Electric Appliances of China on September 12, 2013.  Per the United […]

Stutman Law Beats City’s Governmental Immunity Defense in North Carolina

Stutman Law recently settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of its client against the City of Gastonia, North Carolina for $760,000.00.  Stutman Law’s client insured a historic building that was undergoing renovations when a fire service line froze and burst.  A few days after the initial break, warmer temperatures caused the frozen pipe to thaw, which […]

Getting Rid of a Thorn in the Side of Subrogation Professionals – PA Court Affirms That Workers’ Compensation Insurer Can Sue on Behalf of Injured Worker

On February 10, 2017, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in a published opinion captioned Hartford Insurance Group on Behalf of Chen v. Kamara, et al., 2017 Pa Super 31 (Feb. 10, 2017), that a workers’ compensation insurer can sue a responsible third party in the name of an injured worker to […]

Stutman Law Curbs Attempts to Expand Made Whole Doctrine in Pennsylvania

Stutman Law was successful in curbing an attempt to expand the made whole doctrine in Pennsylvania in a case that dates back to 2001. The recently decided case of  Prof’l. Flooring Co. v. Bushar Corp., 2016 WL 7105899, 2016 Pa. Super. 274, Dec. 6, 2016 relates to a catastrophic fire that destroyed the Continental Business […]

Stutman Law Settles Suppression System Case for $2,750,000 on Eve of Trial

(NASP Subrogator Fall 2016 Issue) A fire destroyed a commercial building that housed multiple paint spray booths which were utilized to apply paint spray and finishes to commercial truck bodies and chassis. The precise cause of the fire was never determined but investigators were able to conclude that the fire had originated within ventilation ductwork […]

Fallen Tree Results in $800,000 Judgment and $329,000 Award of Attorney Fees and Costs Against City of Pasadena (NASP Subrogator Winter 2016 Issue)

In a ruling that could have potential significance for all California municipalities, after a 4-day bench trial, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin found the city of Pasadena liable in inverse condemnation for the catastrophic damage caused to a residence when a 110-foot tall Canary Island Pine tree fell through it during a severe […]

Stutman Law attorney presents NASP webinar series on spoliation of evidence

On February 16th 2016 Stutman Law attorney Michael Wallace and certified fire investigator John Goetz presented a NASP webinar on advanced topics related to spoliation of evidence. The webinar was entitled Spoliation 201. This followed up a previous webinar presented for NASP on basic spoliation issues entitled Spoliation 101. Please click the link if you […]

Stutman Law Files Mass Tort Actions Against Fluidmaster for 657 Claims Totaling More Than $20 Million

Stutman Law has filed mass tort actions in Federal and State court in California on behalf of 16 insurance carriers to recover on 657 claims totaling in excess of $20 million. Stutman Law’s mass tort unit identified two common defects involving Fluidmaster NO-BURST© supply lines: one causing failures of the supply lines’ plastic coupling nuts, […]

CA Supreme Court Rejects City of Pasadena’s Challenge to Inverse Condemnation Decision

The California Supreme Court denied a petition from the City of Pasadena to grant review of the landmark decision described below. In so doing the Court also rejected requests that the decision be depublished made by the City as well as by numerous other groups including the League of California Cities, the California Parks & […]

Stutman Law Obtains $710,000 Verdict Against Broan-Nutone

A federal court jury in Syracuse, NY determined that a bathroom exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-Nutone was defective and a caused a fire at a daycare center in Victor, New York.   Thomas Paolini and Thomas Underwood from Stutman Law’s New Jersey office tried the case. On September 17, 2009, a fire destroyed the Jack & […]

Stutman Law Attorney Michael Wallace Featured in Claims Journal

Stutman Law attorney Michael Wallace was featured in Claims Journal for his presentation “Investigating of Subrogation Claims from Adjacent Construction,” at the 2014 Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB) Conference in Indianapolis.  This presentation focused on the key issues surrounding the investigation, necessary information and documentation for the investigation, and gaining access to and investigation of the adjacent […]

Update – Inverse Condemnation Settlement Occurs After Court of Appeals Denies City’s Petition

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two has issued a summary denial of a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the City of Hemet in a $750K inverse condemnation case following a ruling in Stutman Law’s favor on a motion for summary adjudication. At issue was whether Stutman Law’s novel theory that […]

Stutman Law Obtains Summary Judgment Against Power Utility in Case of First Impression (NASP Subrogator® Spring/Summer 2014 Issue)

In an issue of first impression for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Stutman Law obtained summary judgment in a subrogation action against a power utility alleging that the utility provided defective power to its customer causing equipment losses and a fire resulting in over $800,000 in losses. Click here to read the full article from […]

Stutman Law Obtains $2,202,541.55 Subrogation Jury Verdict Against Alarm Company in Georgia

After six days of trial, a jury found a defendant alarm company grossly negligent and found damages on behalf of Stutman Law’s clients in the amount of $2,202,541.55. The verdict is believed to be the largest subrogation verdict against an alarm company ever obtained in Georgia. Thomas Paolini and Michael Wallace from Stutman Law’s New […]

Trial Court Adopts Theory Advocated by Stutman Law Extending Inverse Condemnation in California

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two has issued a summary denial of a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the City of Hemet in a $750K inverse condemnation case following a ruling in Stutman Law’s favor on a motion for summary adjudication. At issue was whether Stutman Law’s novel theory that […]

Stutman Law Attorney Daniel Hogan Featured in Claims Journal

Stutman Law attorney Daniel Hogan was featured in Claims Journal for his Spontaneous Combustion presentation at the 2013 Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB) Conference in Boston. This presentation focused on recovering on spontaneous combustion fires, identifying products susceptible to spontaneous combustion and preserving evidence at the early stages of the investigation. To read the full […]

Stutman Law Opens Office in Downtown San Francisco

As of June 1, 2013, Stutman Law is proud to announce the opening of its sixth office, nationwide, and its third office in the state of California. The new San Francisco office will better enable Stutman Law to serve its clients in Northern California and the surrounding regions. The office is located in the heart […]

Roundtable Discussions From New Loss Through Trial

Roundtable discussions provide the opportunity to share ideas and develop game plans for subrogation cases. These discussions can be invaluable, because they provide the opportunity for additional sets of eyes and ears to review a matter. However, if some thought is not given to the “process,” the benefits of a roundtable discussion may not be […]

Appeal filed in Uponor Class Action

As we previously reported, the Stutman Firm was involved in the Uponor class action in the District of Minnesota (In re: Uponor, Inc., F1807 Plumbing Fittings Products Liability Litigation) in order to protect subrogated carriers’ rights. For ease of reference, Stutman’s first alert concerning the Uponor litigation can be found here. The lawsuit involved plumbing […]

Class action settlement threatens carriers’ subrogation rights

Settlement impacts past and future claims
The Stutman Firm has obtained a significant benefit for subrogated insurers in a class action lawsuit pending in the District of Minnesota captioned In re: Uponor, Inc., F1807 Plumbing Fittings Products Liability Litigation. The lawsuit concerns plumbing systems manufactured by Radiant Technology, Inc. and Uponor, Inc. (collectively, “RTI Defendants”) which […]

Water Heater Supply Failures on the Rise

Stainless steel braided water heater supply lines contain an inherent design defect which causes them to rupture during ordinary use… Read More >> (Reprinted with permission from Spring/Summer 2012 NASP Subrogator)

Recovering on Water Supply Line Losses Through Aggregation

Among the most common inhome water-related losses are those caused by failures of plumbing supply lines, which are used to connect toilet water tank fill valves to a home’s water supply… Read more at: (Winter 2011 NASP Subrogator)

Mass Torts: Having Economies of Scale Work in Your Favor

The majority of homeowner property damage claims in the United States involve damages that range from three to seven thousand dollars per claim! Althought the insurance industry pays billions of dollars a year as a result of these claims, many are not investigated or pursued for subrogation. Whether these claims involve smoke damage caused by […]

Show Me the Evidence! Inspecting Evidence that Does Not Belong to You

Evidence retention and preservation are often done as a matter of course in losses that may have subrogation potential. Unfortunately, roadblocks are frequently encountered when trying to effectively maintain evidence necessary to a subrogation case. One such roadblock involves locating and retaining evidence that is in the custody or control of someone other than your […]

Just when You Thought You Didn’t Need an Expert… Damages!

Supporting a claim with competent expert testimony is essential to recovery. The right expert can turn a good claim into a recoverable claim. While many people are quick to secure causation experts, they may neglect to consider the need for expert testimony on the issue of damages. Building a recoverable claim means choosing the right […]

Fire Spread Claims: Persistence Leads to Recovery

After the fire trucks leave and only smoking embers remain, the challenge of recovery begins. Ideally, when investigating fire losses, theories are discovered and refined, and responsible parties are identified. Often, however, the cause cannot be determined, and the responsible parties, when identifiable, are penniless and uninsured. Many subrogations professionals consider this the end of […]

Persistence Leads to Recovery in Arson Fires

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 43% of the 67,504 arson offenses reported in 2005 under the Uniform Reporting Program involved buildings. Arsons of industrial and manufacturing buildings resulted in the highest dollar losses with an average loss of $356,324 per incident. While up to 20% of these offenses result in arrest and prosecution… […]

Pyrolysis – A Viable Recovery Theory

Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of organic material caused by extended exposure to heat. When pyrolysis of wood occurs, the originally complex chemical compound degrades into more simple, but more volatile, chemical compounds. Further, the cracking and splitting of wood as it dries from exposure to heat increases the surface area exposed to oxygen, further […]